Thursday, 3 May 2012

3 Eurovision Song Contest Winners

One of the entertainment events that takes place in May every year is the Eurovision Song Contest.

Since 1956, the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union, have got together annually to bring together the best (or in many peoples opinions the worst) of European music in a contest, voted upon by the other participating countries.
In recent years, with the inclusion of many of the former Eastern European Bloc countries, it has become something of a marathon event, with semi-final/qualification events followed by the final on the Saturday night. Some countries are given a bye from the qualification, due presumably to their helping fund the event (France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK).

The contest traditionally takes place in the home of the previous years winners, with this years extravaganza final on 26th May in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Over the years there have been many different styles of song that have won the contest, with a vote taking place on the 50th anniversary of the contest declaring Abba's "Waterloo", as the most popular. Other world famous stars such as Cliff Richard, Celine Dion and Lulu have taken part in the event which attracts a global TV audience in excess of 300 million.

Here is a selection of 3 of the previous winners of the contest:

In 1994, the contest was won by Ireland's Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan singing "Rock 'n' Roll Kids". Ireland had won the contest in both 1992 and 1993 and it was popularly thought that they were trying to ensure they lost the contest so that they were not obliged to stage in in the following year. They entered a song sung by a male duo (no male duos had previously won before) and both artists were somewhat older than the norm, which they believed may count against them. 

However they were in for a surprise as the luck of the Irish came to haunt them. The song was the first to ever score over 200 points and went on to win by a clear 60 points. 

It is now generally considered to be one of the better entries in the contest of all time.

The UK has not won the contest since 1997 when  Katrina and the Waves were successful with "Love Shine a Light". Fronted by American Katrina Leskanich, the band were previously best remembered for their big hit in the mid-eighties "Walking on Sunshine" and Katrina actually spent a period working as a night DJ on BBC Radio 2.

"Love Shine a Light" reached no.3 on the UK singles chart becoming the bands biggest hit.

As mentioned, it is 15 years since the UK won and it's inevitable that this poor run will continue, even with Engelbert Humperdinck being the UK's representative in Baku. This is not down to the singer or the song, it's basically because all of Europe hates the UK!

Last but definitely not least, we go back in time to 1973 with Anne-Marie David winning for Luxembourg singing "Tu te reconnaĆ®tras". 

After being cast as Mary Magdeleine in the French production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1972, Anne- Marie was chosen by the Grand Duchy, in what proved to be a successful attempt to repeat their win in 1973.

Five years later in 1979, she again took part in the contest, this time representing her native France in Israel, coming a close 3rd behind the host nation.

Anne-Marie, who turns 60 three days before this year's contest, still successfully records to this day, and made a new recording of her winning song as recently as 2011.

I must confess to Anne-Marie David's song being my favourite winner of all. 

I would very much like to know which songs were your favourites. 

As an extra, here is Anne-Marie performing the song in 2005 ie 31 years after winning the contest.


No comments:

Post a Comment